XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT
Sunday night football brings an exciting matchup between the Chiefs and the Bucs in a 46.5 point total game with Tampa favored by a point. The story of this one is about Tampa getting healthier, as they expect Chris Godwin and Julio Jones back, putting their receiving corps back to full strength.
On the Chiefs side, the run game is Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jerick McKinnon, with Isaiah Pacheco getting a couple of carries here and there (most of Pacheco’s work came in the Week 1 blowout of the Cardinals). CEH’s snap count has remained relatively flat so far this year around 40%, while McKinnon’s has grown each week, but interestingly CEH has 12 targets against just 7 for McKinnon. More relevant than the workload split is the matchup against an elite run defense that teams just . . . don’t . . . run against. Tampa is facing the 4th-highest opponent pass play percentage in the NFL, while CEH has yet to top eight carries in a game and McKinnon is averaging five. If you play either of these guys, you’re really banking on a goal-line touchdown and/or receiving work. At $7,800, it’s really hard for me to want to touch CEH at all, though if I were doing MME, I would have a trickle in my player pool. McKinnon at just $4,600 has an easier path to paying off his salary and I prefer him straight up to CEH. Pacheco can be included as a punt play in case he lucks into a touchdown or one of the others gets hurt.
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In the passing game, the Chiefs rely on Travis Kelce first and foremost, and then JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman as the primary wide receivers. Kelce is, of course, a badass and in a pass funnel matchup, he’s a great play. The others are a bit shakier. JuJu fits into the “fine” category to me as the second option at $7k, while MVS and Hardman are priced in value territory at $5,600 and $5,200. Neither has had a big game yet and given the financial investment the Chiefs made in MVS as well as his volume (18 targets vs. just 11 for Hardman), I’ll lean towards MVS in a vacuum. The matchup here isn’t great against a really, really good Bucs D, but they have Mahomes at quarterback and volume should be on their side – it’s hard to think that no KC pass catcher gets there, though it’s certainly a tributary possibility. Behind these guys, Justin Watson, Noah Gray, Jody Fortson, and Skyy Moore can be sprinkled around your MME player pool as dart throws.